Licensed clinical social worker Katie Monarch describes postpartum psychosis.
Katie L. Monarch:
Postpartum psychosis is, it affects moms where they have a thought of either to harm themselves, harm the baby, harm somebody else. They are not able to differentiate that thought from “No, I am not going to follow through with it,” and they do. So if we have a mom perhaps that says, ”I can’t take this baby’s crying anymore. I am going to pick this baby up; I am going to throw the baby out of the car,” then that type of situation they would need to be evaluated and hospitalized at that particular time.
So the psychosis is, not only having a thought of harming yourself, the baby, somebody else, but following through with that and not being able to tell yourself no, that’s not the right thing to do.
In postpartum depression, you can have the thought, but you know enough not to follow through with it. I can have the thought, “I can’t take this baby’s screaming anymore, and I am going to pick the baby up and throw the baby out the window, but I know I am not going to do that. I am going to go ahead and put the baby down. I am going to walk away for a few minutes so that I can calm down and then I’ll come back.”
About Katie L. Monarch, L.C.S.W.:
Katie Monarch is the Project Director for the Post Partum Depression program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, where she helped design an education-focused facility. At this hospital all new mothers are screened for postpartum depression through the Bridges for Newborns program using the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS).